Dummies guide to Marketing for freelancers

Are you a freelance looking for more work? Then, today’s blog post is for you. It is a Dummies guide to Marketing for freelancers by Tom Hirst. It covers everything Tom has learned as a freelancer over the last 11 years.

Tom says “If you don’t take marketing seriously, prepare for constant battle!”

Good marketing makes everything easier:

– Getting clients
– Pricing projects
– Negotiation

All the hard stuff, made easier.

Good marketing makes everything better:

– The clients you work with
– The projects you work on
– The pay you receive

All the important stuff, made better.

When supply outweighs demand, freelancing is tough.
When demand outweighs supply, freelancing is freeing.

You can be the best:

– Developer
– Designer
– Or writer

But the best doesn’t always get:

– The most work
– The best clients
– The highest pay

The perceived best often does.

Tom believes that you can’t market your way out of bad service. However, you can market your way out of good service.

It’s great to be good at what you do. But people need to know you’re good.

When you start freelancing, prepare to work on your craft less.

If you want to code, design or write all day; get a job.

Becoming a freelancer means becoming a marketer.

It is important you schedule time every week to market yourself. Even if you don’t like marketing, you have to do it until you do like it. Don’t stop marketing when you get busy. This is when you’re at your most vulnerable, because you get complacent. You might be busy now, but what about next week/month/year? Keep marketing always.

Too much opportunity is never the end of the world.

Too little is.

Don’t worry about what you’d do with too much work before you have too much work.

With excess leads you can:

– Outsource
– Collaborate
– Pay forward

It’s a good problem to have, not a bad one.

You should make people your friends before you ask them for work. Asking people for freelance work is effective short-term. Getting them to ask you for your services is effective long-term.

How to get people to ask you to freelance for them:

– Make friends with people
– Demonstrate specific expertise
– Show proof of work
– Come recommended
– Do a good job

Marketing is about trust. If people trust you, they’ll buy from you.

7 ways to gain trust:

– Be discoverable (online and offline)
– Be authentic (don’t fabricate)
– Be transparent (show results)
– Be accessible (help people)
– Be relatable (tell your story)
– Be brilliant (do great work)
– Be useful (spread value)

Your personal website is the centrepiece of your marketing strategy. A good website with solid content opens up opportunities from all angles.

If you don’t get enough work and you don’t have a website, there’s your next assignment.

Please consider using Segilola Salami to build your website. You even get one year free website hosting.

Trying to be everything for everyone, makes you nothing to no-none. Pick a position and stick to it.

Choosing a position:

– What’s in-demand
– What you’re best at
– What you enjoy most
– What makes you different
– What you can do for a long time

Look for the overlaps.

Identify the people you want to work with.

Profiling your ideal client:

– Who are they?
– What do they buy?
– What are their problems?
– Where do they hang out?

Only show work that you want more of.

Only show clients that you want more of.


About Tom Hirst

Dummies guide to Marketing for freelancersI’m a web development consultant and freelancing mentor working with people around the world from my home office in Wakefield (near Leeds), UK.

Tom also runs a Mentorship Programme For Freelancers.

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